Surf Gods Shine on the Inaugural SurfAid Cup Encinitas

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Photo: Kevin Roche

The SurfAid spirit prevailed again. Despite a forecast of blown out waves and rain, the surf this past Saturday lit up with head high to overhead sets. Bomb sets kept competitors on their toes and the level of surfing was off the scale with standout performances throughout the day.
Held in conjunction with Shaper Festival of Surfing presented by Vans, SurfAid’s tag team competition saw eight teams of five compete for both the Fundraising and Surfing Cup. Over $62,000 was raised for SurfAid’s Mother and Child Health Programmes and will help support clean water & sanitation, basic healthcare, and improved nutrition programmes in SurfAid partner communities.  

The coveted Fundraising Cup was won by Team Benchmark, led by Jason Lewis. Jason and his team raised an incredible amount of $21,020 for SurfAid. This is Jason’s third time winning the title, previously being the undefeated fundraising champion at the SurfAid Cup Santa Cruz for two years in a row. Having the event in his hometown, made the win that much sweeter for Jason, "Amazing cause, good waves, great people. It's great to see the support of our local community get behind the cause, especially the pros who volunteer their time. Benchmark Property Group is grateful to be able to continually support SurfAid with their mission to help communities in need."

Jason Lewis races up the beach to tag teammate Josh Kerr | Photo: Rob Keaton

Jason’s win provided him the first draw in the pro selection and he added California's favourite Aussie import, Josh Kerr to his team. Fresh off his recent retirement from the WSL, Josh was one of the leading rippers in the water.  Joining Josh as SurfAid pros were hometown hero’s Damien Hobgood & Jen Smith, and SurfAid Cup newbie, the lyrical Timmy Curran. 

Damien helped his team, the Seaside Syndicate, bring home the Surfing Cup. The team was  sponsored by Steve and Sally Beck and Steve shared the motivation behind their support for SurfAid, “There are a lot of non profits with their hands out, but at the end of the day aren’t doing much in the field. Not so with SurfAid. SurfAid has cracked the code on Mother-Child care and has found a sustainable method of bringing lasting change to otherwise desperate situations.” 

Damien Hobgood destroys a seaside left | Photo: Rob Keaton

Damien was part of a heavy hitting crew that included Kalani Robb, Taylor Clark, Levi Slauson, and Koby Hughes.They were unstoppable and finished the final heat with a score of 209.2 to beat out Team Firewired who came in second with an impressive score of 193.0. Team Captain and Firewire CEO, Mark Price, didn’t go home empty handed. Mark was recognized with the Wild Card honour for his unwavering dedication to SurfAid and creative use of leveraging fundraising support from Kelly Slater and Rob Machado. 

At the end of the day, all the competitors were able to head home knowing that just by surfing they helped save a life – and that makes everyone a winner. Congratulations to all of our SurfAid Cup Encinitas competitors, we can’t wait for next year!


Photos By: Sarah DeMarco

Check out the photos from our inaugural SurfAid Cup Encinitas

 Special thanks to our event photographers: Kevin Roche, Rob Keaton, Sarah DeMarco and Jerry Jaramillo

Thanks to our event supporters

Final Results:

Surfing Cup Winners - The Seaside Syndicate | Photo: Kevin Roche


1st - Seaside Syndicate 
2nd - Firewired 
3rd - Surfline 
4th - Team Benchmark
5th - Vissla
6th - Surf with a Purpose
7th - Waterworld
8th - Dr. Dave’s Team

Fundraising Cup Winners - Team Benchmark | Photo: Kevin Roche


1st - Team Benchmark 
2nd  – Firewired
3rd  – Seaside Syndicate
4th – Dr. Dave’s Team
5th – Vissla
6th – Surf With a Purpose
7th – Surfline
8th - Waterworld